French Watchdog Investigating Apple's Personalized Advertising Practices After Allegations of Hypocrisy

Apple is to be investigated by France's data-protection watchdog following allegations that the company's personalized advertising feature violates European Union data protection and e-privacy rules (via Bloomberg).

applestorefrance

The National Commission on Informatics and Liberty, known as "CNIL," is France's regulator that oversees privacy and data. CNIL is now examining antitrust allegations from France Digitale, a lobbying group representing startups and venture capital companies, about Apple's personalized advertising practices.

Apple displays personalized ads in the App Store, Apple News, and the Stocks app based on collected user data, but does not request consent before doing so.

Four French advertising lobbies have highlighted that Apple's changes to App Tracking Transparency in iOS 14, which requests user permission to be tracked across apps and websites for advertising purposes, do not extend to Apple itself. Apple can still deliver personalized advertising via a default setting, the lobbies have said, thereby holding itself to a different standard.

France Digitale alleges in its complaint that users are "insufficiently informed" about the use and processing of their personal data by Apple. Apple has now responded to the claim, calling the allegations "patently false," and said that "privacy is built into the ads we sell on our platform with no tracking."

The investigation may result in requests for Apple to make adjustments to its personalized advertising systems, or even an in-depth probe with sanctions. EU General Data Protection Regulation law allows data regulators to levy fines of as much as four percent of a company's annual sales for breaches.

A ruling is expected as soon as March 17, and Bloomberg claims that the result could have "implications" for Apple's personalized advertising in a future iOS 14 update.

Note: Due to the political or social nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Political News forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Top Rated Comments

RalfTheDog Avatar
25 months ago
France says that Apple is tracking users on their own apps. Apple says they are not. I wonder what evidence the French government has. Are they willing to publicly post it?
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
I7guy Avatar
25 months ago
So this is about....money?
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Captain Trips Avatar
25 months ago
You know, I don't doubt that some investigations / accusations have merit - no one (individual or organization of individuals) is perfect.

But recently it seems like "pile on Apple" time.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
az431 Avatar
25 months ago

France says that Apple is tracking users on their own apps. Apple says they are not. I wonder what evidence the French government has. Are they willing to publicly post it?
Zero.

Advertising companies collect and use data from third-party apps for the purpose of tracking users to serve personalized ads without users of those apps knowing who, what, or why data is being collected.

For that reason, Apple now requires developers to obtain permission before collecting data when it is used for tracking by third-parties. The same exact rule applies to Apple, however, Apple does not collect data for tracking by third-parties, so there will never be a permission prompt.

This doesn't only apply to Apple. If Google wanted to use the data in its own Gmail app to serve personalized ads without the prompt, it could do that. The problem is it also makes that data available to third parties (advertisers), which makes it fall within the requirement. Google can't do that because its entire business model revolves around making that data available to advertisers. Same with FaceBook.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jdclifford Avatar
25 months ago
"Allegations of Hypocrisy"? Is that a crime in France? Sacre Bleu! Does it really matter whether Apple runs personalized or generic ads in its apps?
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TheYayAreaLiving ? Avatar
25 months ago
Everyone’s after Apple’s money ?
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iOS 16

iOS 16.3 Now Available for Your iPhone With These 4 New Features

Friday February 3, 2023 1:13 pm PST by
Apple released iOS 16.3 in late January following nearly six weeks of beta testing. The software update is available for the iPhone 8 and newer, and while it is a relatively minor update, it still includes a handful of new features, changes, and bug fixes. Below, we've recapped new features in iOS 16.3, including support for physical security keys as a two-factor authentication option for...
ipad air purple

Deals: M1 iPad Air Hits Record-Low Prices at TigerDirect, Starting at $313.99 (48% Off)

Saturday February 4, 2023 10:05 am PST by
Online retailer TigerDirect has slashed pricing on the M1 iPad Air in several colors, offering the base 64GB configuration for just $313.99 in Purple and Pink. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with TigerDirect. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running. That's a savings of 48% compared to Apple's normal $599.00...
Apple Silicon Teal Feature

The Next Big Apple Silicon Device May Not Be a Mac or iPad

Wednesday February 1, 2023 3:57 am PST by
Apple's next device with an Apple silicon chip may not be a Mac or an iPad, but rather an advanced external display, according to recent reports. The display, which is rumored to arrive this year, is expected to sit somewhere between the $1,599 Studio Display and the $4,999 Pro Display XDR – but more exact information about the device's positioning and price point is as yet unknown. While ...
iPhone 14 Pro Purple Side Perspective Feature Purple

Gurman: Apple Considering New High-End iPhone Alongside Pro and Pro Max

Sunday February 5, 2023 6:07 am PST by
Apple has discussed selling a new top-of-the-line iPhone alongside the Pro and Pro Max models in 2024 at the earliest, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. Based on this timeframe, the device would be part of the iPhone 16 lineup or later. In a September 2022 edition of his weekly "Power On" newsletter, Gurman said there was "potential" for an iPhone 15 Ultra to replace the iPhone 15 Pro...
HomePod 2 White and Midnight Feature Purple Blue

Apple Explains Why HomePod Was Released Again, Wi-Fi 4 Limitation, and More

Thursday February 2, 2023 7:57 am PST by
Apple's VP of hardware engineering Matthew Costello and product marketing employee Alice Chan recently spoke with Men's Journal and TechCrunch about the new second-generation HomePod in wide-ranging interviews about the smart speaker. Apple discontinued the original full-size HomePod in March 2021 after multiple reports indicated that sales of the speaker were lackluster, but Chan told Men's ...
webkit vs chromium feature

Google Working on Browser for iOS That Would Break Apple's App Store Rules

Saturday February 4, 2023 1:30 am PST by
Google's Chromium developers are working on an experimental web browser for iOS that would break Apple's browser engine restrictions, The Register reports. The experimental browser, which is being actively pursued by developers, uses Google's Blink engine. Yet if Google attempted to release it on the App Store, it would not pass Apple's App Review process. Apple's App Store rules dictate...
iOS 16

Apple Preparing iOS 16.3.1 Update for iPhone as Wait for iOS 16.4 Beta Continues

Thursday February 2, 2023 6:41 am PST by
Apple appears to be preparing an iOS 16.3.1 update for the iPhone, based on evidence of the software in our website's analytics logs this week. It's unclear when the update will be released, but it will likely be available at some point in February. The same logs have accurately foreshadowed the release of several previous updates, including iOS 16.0.3 and iOS 16.1.1 most recently, so they...
maxresdefault

Hands-On With Apple's Second-Generation HomePod

Friday February 3, 2023 1:28 pm PST by
Today is the official launch day for the second-generation HomePod that was introduced in January, and we picked one up to compare it to the original HomePod that Apple discontinued in 2021. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Design wise, the second-generation HomePod looks a lot like the first-generation model, featuring the same rounded design and acoustic mesh...